How much knowledge do I need from GCSE English Lit to A Level?

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Rim alex
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Hi I have chosen A Level English lit (AQA) as one of my options.

However the problem is I have had an free year and I have not done English for a year so I am unsure on what I need to know. So which language techniques, structural techniques and other content do I need to know? I am finding it difficult interpreting some poems and my teacher assumes we understand them all, so I am concerned if I am missing anything.
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.
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Satori Tendō
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Why isn't your teacher going through the poems with you?
With Poetry you need the typical skills like identifying language devices, structure, form, mood etc and their effect on the audience/message ... that way your fully equipped for the unseen and your able to show off your understanding of the anthology given to you.
With Prose, you need to know context about the author as well as the time period the books are written and how it relates. So if you were doing Frankenstein, things like the Industrial revolution and how society feared the development of science. You also need to know about characters themes, form, structure and language.
With Drama, you need to know context too. In the exam board that I was doing you also need to know about certain critics that are given to you and incorporate their analysis of the play into your essay as well as your take on their opinions. Also the typical language, structure, form again...etc

Also there are certain ways you must structure your essay that differ from each other. For example, comparing 2 poems or analysing one on its own. Most of the questions don't follow the same pattern and its crucial you learn and gain the experience and essay skills which will allow you to have everything the mark scheme wants you to have in your answer. My teachers would make us write essays every week until it became second nature to us.

Your teachers should teach you how to do this stuff. But to answer your question I'd say its quite different from GCSE, In terms of new essay skills and expectations but its similar in some aspects because you still need to talk about all those language devices. But unlike GCSE, you can't just identify that 'this is a simile', you have to always refer back to the EFFECT it has. Why is it there? How does it get its message across? Is there a deeper meaning? Does it create a certain sound? etc...
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